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Mother with 9-week-old infant in the backseat feels grateful to be alive after deadly Verona crash

Mother feels lucky to be alive after...

VERONA, Wis. - Klarissa Bennett and her two-month-old daughter were in one of the almost 30 cars involved in Monday morning's crash in Verona.

Like any other mother in that situation, Bennett said her first instinct was to make sure her baby was OK.

"I could really care less if I was hurt at the moment, I just cared about her and made sure she was breathing and not injured," said Bennett.

The two were in the front of the up-to-29-car pile-up on Highway 18-151 at around 8 a.m.

One woman died and six people were transported to UW Hospital as a result of the crash.

Officials with the Dane County Sheriff's Department said heavy patches of fog are believed to have caused poor visibility.

"I couldn't see the car in front of me. I didn't see it until they hit something and debris was flying at me," said Bennett.

She said she hit the brakes and drove into a ditch in the middle of the highway. Her black Chevrolet Malibu is seen in the center of the picture below. 

She and her baby sat in the car for about two hours, watching the terror unfold around them.

"There was snow up to my door, so the firefighters had to help me kind of climb out of my car and get her out. There was chaos, pretty much everyone running around making sure people were fine and calling 9-1-1," said Bennett.

Besides being sore and in shock, Bennett and her infant are safe, uninjured and grateful to be alive. 

"That could've been me that died, or that could've been me who was severely injured. I'm just praying that those people that were hurt are okay. I feel bad for that family that lost that person. I'm just glad it wasn't me," she said.

 


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